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Switzerland & France: Lake Geneva, Annecy & Valleys of the Alps

This unique cycling vacation reveals a side of Switzerland and France you won’t find anywhere else. Join local VBT trip leaders in a delightful spin along gentle lakeside bike paths far from tourist centers. Discover enchanting thermal pools springing from deep beneath Mont Blanc itself—creating the warmest geothermal waters in Switzerland. Our expert local leaders will guide you through the scenic Route du Rhône bike path towards Sion—an ancient city that time forgot. Here, you’ll find incredible Grand Cru vintages and a charming 13th-century hilltop castle. Pedal the sapphire shores of Lake Annecy, discovering medieval canals and delightful cafés—returning to relax on the sunny veranda of your waterfront hotel. 

Tour Highlights

  • Cycle well-paved bike paths amid stunning alpine beauty in France and Switzerland.
  • Pedal along three stunning lakes of the Rhône-Alpes region–Geneva, Annecy, and Saint-André–delighting in bike paths along the Rhône and Isère rivers.
  • Savor Swiss and French cuisine and wine to fuel and enhance your journey, from fondues and Fendant to coq au vin and Pinot Noir.
  • Stroll the atmospheric medieval Old Towns of Annecy and Chambéry, grand cultural capitals of once-mighty French kingdoms.
  • Relax in the magical setting of a former abbaye, located on the shores of one of the most beautiful bays in the world

Positive Impact

VBT is proud to support Wine to Water with a donation on behalf of each guest on this tour. Wine to Water is an international organization providing access to clean drinking water and emergency supplies in water-challenged regions. We believe in giving back to the places that have enriched the lives of our guests. We’re committed to identifying and supporting sustainable initiatives in a variety of areas including education, world health, economic equality, safe drinking water, the environment, and the preservation of cultural traditions.

What to Expect

This tour offers easy terrain on well-paved bike paths and low-traffic country roads. Most paths follow rivers and lakes, with mountains far in the distance. It is ideal for beginning cyclists. Longer mileage options are offered on some days for more avid bikers.

  • Daily Mileage: 4-39 miles|
  • Biking: 1-5 hours|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy
Easy
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

May67º/50º

Jun73º/57º

Sep72º/54º

Oct61º/47º

Average
Precipitation:

May3.0 in

Jun3.1 in

Sep3.0 in

Oct3.4 in

Air Package

Tour Only

Roundtrip international airfare

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Airport car service for arrival and departure

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One night in Chamonix (FR) and one night in Lyon (FR)* in conveniently located hotels with daily breakfast. *On some dates, Geneva (CH) is offered instead of Chamonix and Lyon.

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6 nights in fine hotels

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12 meals: 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners

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6 nights in fine hotels and a French château

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2025 2024

Step-Through Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Road Bicycle (Carbon frame)

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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2025 2024

Step-Through Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Road Bicycle (Carbon frame)

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Support Vehicle

Luggage Transportation

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Fri, May 2 to Sun, May 11, 2025

Show Itinerary:

Your vacation is about to begin! Spend your first night aloft and arrive ready for an unforgettable trip.

A VBT representative will greet you at the Geneva airport to start your adventure off right. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel in Chamonix. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming mountain resort town at your leisure.

Enjoy your included breakfast this morning and a last stroll in Chamonix. At 12:00 p.m. board our private motorcoach to Switzerland. Make sure you pack some lunch before departing.

All guests meet at 2:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Swiss hotel with a safety and bike-fitting session led by your trip leaders. By the session’s end, your rooms will be ready, and you will have time to settle in and change into your biking clothes. Later, enjoy a warm-up ride on country roads through charming Swiss villages.

This evening, gather for a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel restaurant, savoring the specialties of the Valais canton.

Today's Ride Choices

Afternoon: Warm-up — 7 km (5 miles)

What to Expect:

The warm-up ride will give you the opportunity to become familiar with your bike as you ride country roads with little traffic. There will be an occasional uphill climb, and the ride will take you through charming Swiss villages.

Cumulative Distance Range: 7 km (5 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After a hearty European breakfast, set out on the tranquil Route du Rhône bike path, following the course of the Rhône upriver. As you get underway, you leave the steep jagged cliffs of the Dent de Morcles behind. These dramatic rocky slopes mark the westernmost reaches of the Bernese Alps, dropping precipitously into the Rhône Valley. Before you, the exhilarating vistas of Switzerland’s majestic and towering range open up.

Near Evionnaz, traverse a serene nature reserve beloved by the residents of the Valais canton before pedaling into a valley blanketed with lush vineyards. The Valais is Switzerland’s third-largest wine region. Some of the classified Grand Crus of Sion – like the Fendant and the Syrah—may sound familiar to you.

Your ride along the river is leisurely and never dull. You cycle past small villages on the gentle slopes of the valleys and spin past farms and orchards of apples, apricots, pears, cherries, strawberries, and raspberries. Even the legendary Valais headwind, which caresses the valley from late morning to evening during good weather, cannot tarnish this incredibly scenic ride into this hidden corner of Switzerland.

As you approach Sion, the capital of the Valais canton, the two towering rock bastions of Tourbillon and Valère greet you from their lofty perches. There’ll be time to stroll the pedestrian streets of the Old Town, following the VBT optional walk prepared by your trip leaders, rich in culture and history and embellished with stone fountains and lively cafés. After lunch on your own, you travel back to your hotel, where you have time to rest in the shade of huge sequoia trees, walk on the trails of the landscaped park, or soak in the thermal pools, where your entry is included.

Dinner is at the hotel’s restaurant tonight.

Today's Ride Choices

Morning: Lavey to Saillon — 24 km (15 miles) | Saillon to Sion — 18 km (11 miles) | Sion walk — 2 km (1 mile)

What to Expect:

Today’s ride is easy and flat, almost entirely on a well-paved bike path. The headwind that generally starts blowing around mid-morning up the valley in good weather may slow down your pace. Expect some traffic at the end of the long option entering the city of Sion, where drivers are generally used to and gentle with riders.

Today may offer an additional independent ride for experienced cyclists. Ask your trip leader for details.

Cumulative Distance Range: 18 — 42 km (11 — 26 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, you cycle out of Saint-Maurice into the Chablais region, the spectacular alpine area straddling Switzerland and France. Your route again follows the Rhône River, pointing you toward Lake Geneva. As you ride out of the village, you may glimpse the sharp, soaring peaks of the Dents du Midi chain. Despite your mountainous surroundings, today’s route is very relaxed, tracing a pleasant valley on well-paved bike paths and passing Swiss chalets, manicured gardens, and postcard-perfect ponds.

At Le Bouveret, just before the river pours into Lake Geneva, your route gently bends right onto the Rhône bridge. Here, you ride into the shaded wetlands of Les Grangettes. This peaceful nature reserve hosts a profusion of biodiversity, including many migratory birds. This morning’s pleasant spin ends at the eastern tip of Lake Geneva in Villeneuve, or New Town, which in fact boasts a charming Old Town of cobbled streets and inviting cafés – the ideal place for a stop and a short stroll. After, you cycle or shuttle to Montreux.

If you choose to ride, follow a lakeside route, passing by the historic Chillon Castle and continuing to Montreux on the way. You end your ride in this popular resort town on Lake Geneva where you can admire elegant villas and lovely gardens. Stop at Place du Marché, where a statue of Freddie Mercury gazes out over the lake. For the fans of the rock band, Queen, the free visit to the Exhibition Space of the Mountains Studios inside the casino may reveal a highlight! The lake promenade is the perfect spot to enjoy lunch on your own. Then continue by private motorcoach into France and the picturesque village of Talloires, hugging the shores of scenic Lake Annecy. Settle into your hotel here, a hidden gem away from the crowds, and set beautifully on the water with magnificent views of the Massif des Bauges to the west and La Tournette and Col de Forclaz to the east. Celebrities like Mark Twain and Paul Cezanne stayed in this historical and century-old former abbey. The sublime Saint Germain abbey and chapel perches high above on a distant hillside.

Tonight, stroll into historic Talloires for dinner on your own. You might try a Raclette with the famous quality cheeses of Haute-Savoie and match it with local wine, like Chignin or Apremont.

Today's Ride Choices

Morning: Lavey to Villeneuve — 34 km (21 miles) | Villeneuve to Montreux — 7 km (4 miles)

What to Expect:

Today’s ride is easy and mostly follows a flat paved bike path until Villeneuve. When the weather is good, a mid-morning to evening headwind blows up the valley and can slow down the ride. From Villeneuve to Montreux, the route, for the first two miles, is a bike lane shared by pedestrians, and then on a regularly trafficked slightly rolling road. The Villeneuve to Montreux option requires some caution and is therefore rated easy/moderate.

Cumulative Distance Range: 34 — 41 km (21 — 25 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast

Begin your ride by cycling south from your hotel in the Haute-Savoie region. Your focus is the breathtaking Lake Annecy—Europe’s cleanest lake thanks to protection measures enacted in the 1960s—and its namesake city. Your loop follows a well-paved bike path past the staggering sheer cliffs of the Bauges Mountains that seem to surge dramatically out of the waters.

As you approach the city of Annecy, follow the sign to the Paccard Bell Foundry if you wish. Over seven generations, this family business has cast more than 120,000 bells for institutions all over the world, including the bells that ring out from the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Later, arrive in historic Annecy, called the “Pearl of the French Alps” for its stunning setting between mountains and lakes. There’ll be time to explore its pedestrian streets lined with charming canals, bridges, and archways that might bring Venice to mind. The Old Town is full of unique charms and historic buildings. Admire the Palais de l’Isle, a 12th-century prison on an islet in the River Thiou, the Château d’Annecy, the 16th-century Cathedral of Saint-Pierre and the Pont des Amours, the Lover’s Bridge. Savor lunch on your own in an inviting café, perhaps watching swans glide on the river, and enjoy a crème glacée—locally made ice cream—for dessert.

Shuttle back to the hotel, or join today’s longer option that completes a circumference around the lake. Pass a popular lake beach, perhaps dipping your toes in the crystal-clear water, and several lakeside villages steeped in charm. In the distance, catch sight of the Aravis Mountains, famous for the hairpin turns and steep bends featured on the Tour de France.

Later, relax and take a dip in the lake, stroll the vegetable gardens by the cloister, or treat yourself to the hotel spa. Dinner is at the hotel gourmet restaurant, a delicious meal of French specialties.

Today's Ride Choices

Morning: Talloires to Annecy — 26 km (16 miles) | Annecy to Talloires — 13 km (8 miles) | Annecy walk — 2 km (1 mile)

What to Expect:

Today’s ride follows a well paved road and bike path. There is an initial steep downhill soon after Talloires, then it is all flat to Annecy. The area, especially before Annecy, is very popular and bikers may encounter skaters and walkers on the path. The afternoon ride is easy although it includes one climb. Note: in the summer it may be crowded with a number of bikers. In the villages, attention must be paid to cars.

Today may offer an additional independent ride for experienced cyclists. Ask your trip leader for details.

Cumulative Distance Range: 13 —39 km (8 — 24 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After a hearty French breakfast, say goodbye to your hosts and set out on one of the most beautiful rides of the region. Leaving the southern tip of Lake Annecy, you cycle along a quiet, smooth bike path as the Bauges Range rises up on one side and the Beaufortain soars on the other. Gorges and caves in the distance tell that the region has been inhabited by man since the Neolithic Age.

After a slight climb at Ugine, you leave the Haute-Savoie and meet the Arly River, which you follow to Albertville. Gateway to some of the best international ski areas of the Alps, Albertville hosted the 1992 Winter Olympics.  Following your included lunch, you walk to the neighboring medieval City of Conflans. A French historic site and monument, the picturesque Cité de Conflans is sheltered behind 14th-century walls and offers views of the Combe de Savoie valley, and the Bauges and Chartreuse mountains like no other. In the afternoon continue cycling the new paved bike path that lines the Isère River into fertile farmlands. Here it is common to meet local farmers caring for their pépinières, or vine nurseries. Your ride ends in the shaded pond district called Lake de Carouge.

Later settle into your French château, then visit the 15th-century cellar and savor a wine tasting before a delicious dinner overseen by your gracious hosts. It’s the perfect end of a beautiful day and an ideal venue to sample the region’s finest wines.

Note: the tour starting on September 14, 2025, you will be staying at Château de Candie in nearby Chambéry where you will dine here for two nights and experience a winetasting in the village of Apremont the next day. Your cycling routes will vary a little today and tomorrow.

Today's Ride Choices

Morning: Talloires to Cité de Conflans — 35 km (22 miles)

Afternoon: Cité de Conflans to Lac de Carouge — 27 km (17 miles)

What to Expect:

With the exception of a short climb into the City of Conflans, the ride today is very easy and follows mostly a bike path along rivers or country roads. All in all, it is a very enjoyable day of cycling.

Cumulative Distance Range: 27 — 62 km (17 — 39 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today promises another ride into stunning cultural and natural beauty. From your château, you cycle along gently rolling and scenic country roads, meandering through small charming villages and vineyards. You skirt the base of Mont Granier, a gigantic crag and the icon of this green region called Chartreuse, to the peaceful small Lake of Saint-André. Then you follow the course of the small L’Albanne River into picturesque Chambéry, boasting a rich history as the capital of the Kingdom of Savoy from the 13th to the 16th centuries. The Château des Ducs de Savoie still dominates the cityscape, nestled in a maze of medieval alleyways in the city center. You pause for lunch on your own here, taking time to also admire the 15th- and 16th-century estates along the shop-lined rue Croix-d’Or.

Your return ride follows a different easy bike path. Avid riders may follow a scenic route with an opportunity to enjoy wonderful views of the distant Tarantaise peaks, some reaching more than 11,000 feet. The Col du Galibier in the sunny Maurienne valley with its 8,681 feet ranks with the Col de l’Iseran as one of the highest mountain passes in France. There stands a monument to Henri Desgranges, who initiated the Tour de France cycle race in 1903. Epic climbs are sure to come to mind as you experience a bit of the captivating cycling of the Alps without the big hills.

Back at your château, there’ll be time to relax by the swimming pool and prepare for a final festive dinner featuring French specialties of the region.

Today's Ride Choices

Morning: Chateau de Challes to Lac Saint-André to Chambéry — 27 km (17 miles)

Afternoon: Chambéry to Chateau de Challes — 9 km (5 miles) | Chambéry to Barby to Chateau de Challes Plus — 17 km (10 miles) | Chambéry walk — 2 km (1 mile)

What to Expect:

Today’s ride follows easy and paved rolling country roads to Lake of Saint- André and along vineyards, then a flat and paved bike path through shaded parks into the historic center of Chambéry. Entering the city, the path becomes a biking lane and you will ride on a short stretch of cobblestone. Expect some traffic into and out of Chambéry. The afternoon ride is mostly on a flat bike path back to the hotel. An extra 8 km loop includes a short and very gradual climb on the first hills of the Massif des Bauges. A not to miss loop, if you want to enjoy the views of the valley, Mount Granier, and southern Alps from a nice perspective.

Cumulative Distance Range: 9 — 44 km (5 — 27 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to your hotel in Lyon, an elegant and centrally located 5-star hotel, arriving about 10:30 a.m. VBT provides city information that includes highlights and recommendations for what to see and do in Lyon. Use the rest of the day to relax. Or begin exploring Lyon, following your whims and desires either on foot or using the city’s network of buses and trams and the subway.

Your hotel is located on the Presqu’île, the peninsula surrounded by the two rivers, in the major shopping and partly pedestrian area, near museums and picturesque streets.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After an included breakfast this morning, complimentary transportation to the Lyon airport will be provided (an approximately 60-minute drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Switzerland & France: Lake Geneva, Annecy & Valleys of the Alps

Download PDF Itinerary:

Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

Sun, May 4 to Sat, May 10, 2025

Show Itinerary:

Your tour starts at noon at the pre-night hotel in Chamonix OR at 2:00 p.m. at the first hotel in Switzerland. Your trip leaders will meet you in the lobby of your Swiss hotel wearing VBT staff garments.

No matter how you travel to Lavey-les-Bains or Saillon, please have lunch before you meet your VBT trip leaders.

Your tour begins at 2:00 p.m. in the lobby of your Swiss hotel -Hotel des Bain de Saillon in Saillon for tours April through June 2025, or at Grand Hotel des Bains in Lavey-les-Bains for tours in September and October 2025 – with a safety and bike-fitting session led by your trip leaders. Your biking clothes are not required to attend this meeting. By the session’s end, your rooms will be ready, and you will have time to settle in and change into your biking clothes. Later, enjoy a warm-up ride on country roads through charming Swiss villages.

This evening, gather for a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel restaurant, savoring the specialties of the Valais canton.

Today's Ride Choices

Afternoon: Warm-up — 7 km (5 miles)

What to Expect:

The warm-up ride will give you the opportunity to become familiar with your bike as you ride country roads with little traffic. There will be an occasional uphill climb, and the ride will take you through the charming Swiss village of Saint-Maurice (or Saillon).

Cumulative Distance Range: 7 km (5 miles)

Included Meals: Dinner

After a hearty European breakfast, set out on the tranquil Route du Rhône bike path, following the course of the Rhône upriver. As you get underway, you leave the steep jagged cliffs of the Dent de Morcles behind. These dramatic rocky slopes mark the westernmost reaches of the Bernese Alps, dropping precipitously into the Rhône Valley. Before you, the exhilarating vistas of Switzerland’s majestic and towering range open up.

Near Evionnaz, traverse a serene nature reserve beloved by the residents of the Valais canton before pedaling into a valley blanketed with lush vineyards. The Valais is Switzerland’s third-largest wine region. Some of the classified Grand Crus of Sion – like the Fendant and the Syrah—may sound familiar to you.

Your ride along the river is leisurely and never dull. You cycle past small villages on the gentle slopes of the valleys and spin past farms and orchards of apples, apricots, pears, cherries, strawberries, and raspberries. Even the legendary Valais headwind, which caresses the valley from late morning to evening during good weather, cannot tarnish this incredibly scenic ride into this hidden corner of Switzerland.

As you approach Sion, the capital of the Valais canton, the two towering rock bastions of Tourbillon and Valère greet you from their lofty perches. There’ll be time to stroll the pedestrian streets of the Old Town, following the VBT optional walk prepared by your trip leaders, rich in culture and history and embellished with stone fountains and lively cafés. After lunch on your own, you travel back to your hotel, where you have time to rest in the shade of huge sequoia trees, walk on the trails of the landscaped park, or soak in the thermal pools, where your entry is included.

Dinner is at the hotel’s restaurant tonight.

Today's Ride Choices

Morning: Lavey to Saillon — 24 km (15 miles) | Saillon to Sion — 18 km (11 miles) | Sion walk — 2 km (1 mile)

What to Expect:

Today’s ride is easy and flat, almost entirely on a well-paved bike path. The headwind that generally starts blowing around mid-morning up the valley in good weather may slow down your pace. Expect some traffic at the end of the long option entering the city of Sion, where drivers are generally used to and gentle with riders.

Today may offer an additional independent ride for experienced cyclists. Ask your trip leader for details.

Cumulative Distance Range: 18 — 42 km (11 — 26 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, you cycle out of Saint-Maurice into the Chablais region, the spectacular alpine area straddling Switzerland and France. Your route again follows the Rhône River, pointing you toward Lake Geneva. As you ride out of the village, you may glimpse the sharp, soaring peaks of the Dents du Midi chain. Despite your mountainous surroundings, today’s route is very relaxed, tracing a pleasant valley on well-paved bike paths and passing Swiss chalets, manicured gardens, and postcard-perfect ponds.

At Le Bouveret, just before the river pours into Lake Geneva, your route gently bends right onto the Rhône bridge. Here, you ride into the shaded wetlands of Les Grangettes. This peaceful nature reserve hosts a profusion of biodiversity, including many migratory birds. This morning’s pleasant spin ends at the eastern tip of Lake Geneva in Villeneuve, or New Town, which in fact boasts a charming Old Town of cobbled streets and inviting cafés – the ideal place for a stop and a short stroll. After, you cycle or shuttle to Montreux.

If you choose to ride, follow a lakeside route, passing by the historic Chillon Castle and continuing to Montreux on the way. You end your ride in this popular resort town on Lake Geneva where you can admire elegant villas and lovely gardens. Stop at Place du Marché, where a statue of Freddie Mercury gazes out over the lake. For the fans of the rock band, Queen, the free visit to the Exhibition Space of the Mountains Studios inside the casino may reveal a highlight! The lake promenade is the perfect spot to enjoy lunch on your own. Then continue by private motorcoach into France and the picturesque village of Talloires, hugging the shores of scenic Lake Annecy. Settle into your hotel here, a hidden gem away from the crowds, and set beautifully on the water with magnificent views of the Massif des Bauges to the west and La Tournette and Col de Forclaz to the east. Celebrities like Mark Twain and Paul Cezanne stayed in this historical and century-old former abbey. The sublime Saint Germain abbey and chapel perches high above on a distant hillside.

Tonight, stroll into historic Talloires for dinner on your own. You might try a Raclette with the famous quality cheeses of Haute-Savoie and match it with local wine, like Chignin or Apremont.

Today's Ride Choices

Morning: Lavey to Villeneuve — 34 km (21 miles) | Villeneuve to Montreux — 7 km (4 miles)

What to Expect:

Today’s ride is easy and mostly follows a flat paved bike path until Villeneuve. When the weather is good, a mid-morning to evening headwind blows up the valley and can slow down the ride. From Villeneuve to Montreux, the route, for the first two miles, is a bike lane shared by pedestrians, and then on a regularly trafficked slightly rolling road. The Villeneuve to Montreux option requires some caution and is therefore rated easy/moderate.

Cumulative Distance Range: 34 — 41 km (21 — 25 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast

Begin your ride by cycling south from your hotel in the Haute-Savoie region. Your focus is the breathtaking Lake Annecy—Europe’s cleanest lake thanks to protection measures enacted in the 1960s—and its namesake city. Your loop follows a well-paved bike path past the staggering sheer cliffs of the Bauges Mountains that seem to surge dramatically out of the waters.

As you approach the city of Annecy, follow the sign to the Paccard Bell Foundry if you wish. Over seven generations, this family business has cast more than 120,000 bells for institutions all over the world, including the bells that ring out from the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Later, arrive in historic Annecy, called the “Pearl of the French Alps” for its stunning setting between mountains and lakes. There’ll be time to explore its pedestrian streets lined with charming canals, bridges, and archways that might bring Venice to mind. The Old Town is full of unique charms and historic buildings. Admire the Palais de l’Isle, a 12th-century prison on an islet in the River Thiou, the Château d’Annecy, the 16th-century Cathedral of Saint-Pierre and the Pont des Amours, the Lover’s Bridge. Savor lunch on your own in an inviting café, perhaps watching swans glide on the river, and enjoy a crème glacée—locally made ice cream—for dessert.

Shuttle back to the hotel, or join today’s longer option that completes a circumference around the lake. Pass a popular lake beach, perhaps dipping your toes in the crystal-clear water, and several lakeside villages steeped in charm. In the distance, catch sight of the Aravis Mountains, famous for the hairpin turns and steep bends featured on the Tour de France.

Later, relax and take a dip in the lake, stroll the vegetable gardens by the cloister, or treat yourself to the hotel spa. Dinner is at the hotel gourmet restaurant, a delicious meal of French specialties.

Today's Ride Choices

Morning: Talloires to Annecy — 26 km (16 miles) | Annecy to Talloires — 13 km (8 miles) | Annecy walk — 2 km (1 mile)

What to Expect:

Today’s ride follows a well paved road and bike path. There is an initial steep downhill soon after Talloires, then it is all flat to Annecy. The area, especially before Annecy, is very popular and bikers may encounter skaters and walkers on the path. The afternoon ride is easy although it includes one climb. Note: in the summer it may be crowded with a number of bikers. In the villages, attention must be paid to cars.

Today may offer an additional independent ride for experienced cyclists. Ask your trip leader for details.

Cumulative Distance Range: 13 —39 km (8 — 24 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After a hearty French breakfast, say goodbye to your hosts and set out on one of the most beautiful rides of the region. Leaving the southern tip of Lake Annecy, you cycle along a quiet, smooth bike path as the Bauges Range rises up on one side and the Beaufortain soars on the other. Gorges and caves in the distance tell that the region has been inhabited by man since the Neolithic Age.

After a slight climb at Ugine, you leave the Haute-Savoie and meet the Arly River, which you follow to Albertville. Gateway to some of the best international ski areas of the Alps, Albertville hosted the 1992 Winter Olympics.  Following your included lunch, you walk to the neighboring medieval City of Conflans. A French historic site and monument, the picturesque Cité de Conflans is sheltered behind 14th-century walls and offers views of the Combe de Savoie valley, and the Bauges and Chartreuse mountains like no other. In the afternoon continue cycling the new paved bike path that lines the Isère River into fertile farmlands. Here it is common to meet local farmers caring for their pépinières, or vine nurseries. Your ride ends in the shaded pond district called Lake de Carouge.

Later settle into your French château, then visit the 15th-century cellar and savor a wine tasting before a delicious dinner overseen by your gracious hosts. It’s the perfect end of a beautiful day and an ideal venue to sample the region’s finest wines.

Note: the tour starting on September 14, 2025, you will be staying at Château de Candie in nearby Chambéry where you will dine here for two nights and experience a winetasting in the village of Apremont the next day. Your cycling routes will vary a little today and tomorrow.

Today's Ride Choices

Morning: Talloires to Cité de Conflans — 35 km (22 miles)

Afternoon: Cité de Conflans to Lac de Carouge — 27 km (17 miles)

What to Expect:

With the exception of a short climb into the City of Conflans, the ride today is very easy and follows mostly a bike path along rivers or country roads. All in all, it is a very enjoyable day of cycling.

Cumulative Distance Range: 27 — 62 km (17 — 39 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today promises another ride into stunning cultural and natural beauty. From your château, you cycle along gently rolling and scenic country roads, meandering through small charming villages and vineyards. You skirt the base of Mont Granier, a gigantic crag and the icon of this green region called Chartreuse, to the peaceful small Lake of Saint-André. Then you follow the course of the small L’Albanne River into picturesque Chambéry, boasting a rich history as the capital of the Kingdom of Savoy from the 13th to the 16th centuries. The Château des Ducs de Savoie still dominates the cityscape, nestled in a maze of medieval alleyways in the city center. You pause for lunch on your own here, taking time to also admire the 15th- and 16th-century estates along the shop-lined rue Croix-d’Or.

Your return ride follows a different easy bike path. Avid riders may follow a scenic route with an opportunity to enjoy wonderful views of the distant Tarantaise peaks, some reaching more than 11,000 feet. The Col du Galibier in the sunny Maurienne valley with its 8,681 feet ranks with the Col de l’Iseran as one of the highest mountain passes in France. There stands a monument to Henri Desgranges, who initiated the Tour de France cycle race in 1903. Epic climbs are sure to come to mind as you experience a bit of the captivating cycling of the Alps without the big hills.

Back at your château, there’ll be time to relax by the swimming pool and prepare for a final festive dinner featuring French specialties of the region.

Today's Ride Choices

Morning: Chateau de Challes to Lac Saint-André to Chambéry — 27 km (17 miles)

Afternoon: Chambéry to Chateau de Challes — 9 km (5 miles) | Chambéry to Barby to Chateau de Challes Plus — 17 km (10 miles) | Chambéry walk — 2 km (1 mile)

What to Expect:

Today’s ride follows easy and paved rolling country roads to Lake of Saint- André and along vineyards, then a flat and paved bike path through shaded parks into the historic center of Chambéry. Entering the city, the path becomes a biking lane and you will ride on a short stretch of cobblestone. Expect some traffic into and out of Chambéry. The afternoon ride is mostly on a flat bike path back to the hotel. An extra 8 km loop includes a short and very gradual climb on the first hills of the Massif des Bauges. A not to miss loop, if you want to enjoy the views of the valley, Mount Granier, and southern Alps from a nice perspective.

Cumulative Distance Range: 9 — 44 km (5 — 27 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After an included breakfast, travel by private motorcoach to the Hotel Carlton Lyon MGallery by Sofitel in Lyon, arriving at approximately 10:30 a.m. Your vacation ends here. The hotel is a 5-minute walk from Metro Bellecour station, from where you can travel to the Lyon railway stations and Lyon’s St. Exupery Airport.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Switzerland & France: Lake Geneva, Annecy & Valleys of the Alps

Download PDF Itinerary:

Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

Accommodations (Please Note: Days are based on the Air Package Itinerary. Accommodations may vary depending on departure date. )

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2025 2024

2025 Pre-Trip Extension - Chamonix

2 Nights From $295 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $245

  • 2 nights at Hotel Le Refuge des Aiglons or Hotel La Folie Douce
  • Airport car service for arrival
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

Your vacation is about to begin! Spend your first night aloft and arrive ready for an unforgettable trip.

A VBT representative will greet you at the Geneva airport to start your adventure off right. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel in Chamonix. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming mountain resort town at your leisure.

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to explore on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to explore on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Le Refuge des Aiglons

Evoking the air of an authentic mountain chalet, Le Refuge des Aiglons enjoys a long tradition of mountaineering and skiing. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the large atrium-style lobby bring the alpine beauty indoors while the fireplace, wood furnishing with wool throws and pillows and the nature-inspired interiors add to the feeling of the great outdoors. During your stay, indulge in the spa and fitness center, outdoor pool, steam room and sauna in the garden. The dining room, serving local, in-season dishes and shared plates, was thoughtfully designed to bring people together, with large open spaces and small sitting areas for quiet conversation.

Wi-Fi In Room
FREE WiFi Included
No Air Conditioning
No Air Conditioning
Airplane

Air Package Only

2025 2024

2024 Pre-Trip Extension - Chamonix

2 Nights From $245 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $195

  • 2 nights at Hotel Le Morgane or Hotel Le Refuge des Aiglons
  • Airport car service for arrival
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

Your vacation is about to begin! Spend your first night aloft and arrive ready for an unforgettable trip.

A VBT representative will greet you at the Geneva airport to start your adventure off right. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel in Chamonix. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to explore on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to explore on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Hôtel Le Morgane

This elegant and environmentally friendly four-star hotel offers mountain views and a fine-dining restaurant just a short walk away from Chamonix’s pedestrian main street. Contemporary, tranquil guestrooms are naturally cooled without air conditioning, and plush with wood accents and neutral tones. A spa complete with swimming pool, steam room, sauna, and treatment facilities is on site.

Wi-Fi In Room
FREE WiFi Included
No Air Conditioning
No Air Conditioning
Airplane

Air Package Only

2025 2024

2025 Post-Trip Extension - Lyon

2 Nights From $345 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $245

  • 2 nights at the Hotel Carlton Lyon MGallery
  • Airport car service for departure
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information
1 Begin your Post-Trip Extension

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

2 Continue your Post-Trip Extension

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

3 Departure

After an included breakfast this morning, complimentary transportation to the Lyon airport will be provided (an approximately 60-minute drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Hotel Carlton Lyon MGallery by Sofitel

The Hotel Carlton Lyon MGallery by Sofitel is a fully renovated, stylish, 4-star boutique hotel in the heart of Lyon’s pedestrian historic center. It has retained its authenticity and personality by combining contemporary comfort with sophistication and refinement. A five-minute walk from the Metro Bellecour, the hotel is the ideal base from which to discover Lyon: the Opera, museums, Cathedral St Jean, shopping streets, and the Rhône River are all nearby. Each of the air-conditioned rooms offers lush décor and all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. Onsite, you may relax in the plush lobby bar under the soft light of pearl chandeliers.

Wi-Fi In Room
FREE WiFi Included
Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning
Airplane

Air Package Only

2025 2024

2024 Post-Trip Extension - Lyon

2 Nights From $295 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $245

  • 2 nights at the Hotel Carlton Lyon MGallery
  • Airport car service for departure
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information
1 Begin your Post-Trip Extension

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

2 Continue your Post-Trip Extension

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

3 Departure

After an included breakfast this morning, complimentary transportation to the Lyon airport will be provided (an approximately 60-minute drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Hotel Carlton Lyon MGallery by Sofitel

The Hotel Carlton Lyon MGallery by Sofitel is a fully renovated, stylish, 4-star boutique hotel in the heart of Lyon’s pedestrian historic center. It has retained its authenticity and personality by combining contemporary comfort with sophistication and refinement. A five-minute walk from the Metro Bellecour, the hotel is the ideal base from which to discover Lyon: the Opera, museums, Cathedral St Jean, shopping streets, and the Rhône River are all nearby. Each of the air-conditioned rooms offers lush décor and all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. Onsite, you may relax in the plush lobby bar under the soft light of pearl chandeliers.

Wi-Fi In Room
FREE WiFi Included
Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning
Reviews
29 out of 32 (90%)
4.7 out of 5 stars.
Read More Reviews

The guides were professional and well prepared for this trip. They shared a great deal of cultural information. Each morning we were adequately prepped for the daily rides. The sag wagon provided enough snacks and water. When asked to provide sun screen, they did. All the bike mani tenancy was thoroughly handled well. We have done another cycling trip with VBT in Puglia and really enjoyed the cooking class. It would have been nice to have had an activity like that. The wine tasting was not very interesting or informative.

D Worrall, Spokane, WA

VBT France and Switzerland 2022

I thoroughly enjoyed an awesome trip with very scenic bike paths, taking walking tours of historic villages, and trying different cuisine.

Smiling bicyclist, South Portland, Maine

France and Switzerland

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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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